The preliminary ratings are in for last night’s ‘UFC On FOX 9’ event and show that an average of 2.41 million viewers tuned in, leading to a 1.0 rating amongst adults 18-49.
It should be stressed that these are just the overnight numbers and could well increase once more data is available for the final number early next week, but as it stands this is likely to be considered a disappointment.
By way of an initial comparison, ‘UFC On FOX 8’ did 2.04 million viewers in the overnights, but that shouldn’t be considered the benchmark here as that was the promotion’s lowest rating yet, and the UFC’s event’s early and late in the year like yesterday’s tend to perform considerably better due to being promoted during FOX’s American Football coverage.
A better example would be that, last December, ‘UFC On FOX 5’ did a full million more viewers (3.41 million) for the overnights and had a 1.6 rating among adults 18-49.
A big problem with Saturday’s card was that it had been hit considerably by injuries. For instance, the originally scheduled line-up called for a lightweight title fight between Anthony Pettis and Josh Thomson before the champ pulled out due to requiring knee surgery, while up until this week Carlos Condit and Matt Brown were also set to compete in a fight that would have had big implications for the welterweight division, even more so given GSP’s decision to vacate the title yesterday.
At the same time, the UFC will also have been hampered by the fact that their other live TV events are now airing on FOX Sports 1 rather than FX which has lead to them taking a significant hit on the ratings front.
That would have hurt their efforts to market last night’s event, while there’s a good chance that last night’s preliminary coverage on FS1 was also down compared to when they used to air on FX leading into the main card on FOX.
As noted earlier, the ratings could go up a bit once the final numbers come in, but are likely to fall well short of the 4 million+ range that they would ideally have been hoping for.